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Reps Criticize NLC, TUC for Spreading False Information on Lawmakers’ Pay

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The House of Representatives has criticized the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for allegedly disseminating false information regarding lawmakers’ earnings. The House claims this misinformation is intended to incite public resentment against legislators and undermine the credibility of the legislature.

Akin Rotimi, the House spokesperson, issued a statement on Tuesday addressing the issue.

“The House of Representatives acknowledges the recent industrial action by the NLC and TUC due to the stalled negotiations for a new national minimum wage. We are pleased that the strike has been suspended for a week to allow further negotiations. During this period, the House remains committed to engaging all stakeholders to resolve these issues in the best interest of Nigerians,” the statement read.

House Speaker Abbas Tajudeen has been a consistent advocate for a living wage and better working conditions. He has emphasized the need to address national priorities, such as the economy and security, through legislative action.

While supporting improved wages and working conditions, the House warns against setting a minimum wage that exceeds the economy’s capacity, which could lead to inflation, layoffs, and other negative consequences. They stress the importance of a balanced approach to ensure long-term stability and prosperity.

The House also expressed concern over the direction of the strike before its suspension, specifically condemning the shutdown of critical infrastructure like the national grid and airports.

“The shutdown of critical infrastructure constitutes economic sabotage and harms our country’s well-being. Those responsible must be held accountable. It is troubling that the leadership of organized labor, many of whom live far above the means of the average Nigerian, engaged in actions that exacerbated the suffering of ordinary citizens,” the statement continued.

The House emphasized that industrial actions and dissent are fundamental democratic rights but criticized the labor leadership for their lack of empathy during the strike. They questioned whether the union’s objective was to secure a living wage or to inflict pain on Nigerians.

The House also addressed the persistent spread of misinformation by labor leaders regarding lawmakers’ earnings, which they claim has fueled public resentment and unfairly vilified the parliament.

“Contrary to the insinuations spread by labor leadership, the Legislature is on the side of Nigerians and will continue to act in the best interest of our constituents,” the statement asserted.

The House urged union leaders to return to the negotiation table and engage other stakeholders in good faith to achieve a balanced and sustainable outcome.

Previously, the NLC and TUC had initiated a nationwide strike to push for a new minimum wage, which was suspended for a week after reaching a preliminary agreement with the Federal Government to raise the wage above N60,000.

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